Archive 2015 September
Planned Parenthood, and standing up for women’s lives

Planned Parenthood, and standing up for women’s lives

Congress’ pending decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood has been weighing heavy on my heart lately. I know far too many individuals that have been helped by their services, and it’s an issue that hits too close to home as a woman to remain silent.

I am a very political active person, but I try my best to keep my opinions and beliefs to myself on social media and the internet sphere. I have amazing family members and friends whose views differ, and I would be annoyed if they shoved their beliefs down my throat so I try to live by the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

Yes, you’ll note that comes from the bible. I grew up with the bible so I know a thing or to about what it teaches. I also grew up in a Catholic home. Though I am no longer Catholic or religious, I still try to live by that Golden Rule regardless of my changed beliefs. I actually still live by a handful of the verses I learned as a child, because they are unifying words to live by regardless of religion or background.

Words such as, “Love each other as I have loved you.”

So when I think about the fact that Congress and so many “Christian” Americans want to stop funding affordable, accessible healthcare options for women – I am appalled. I am sad. And I am pissed off.

That’s not love. That’s not treating others as you’d like to be treated. That is spiteful, and only hurts the 1 in 5 women in this country who have used Planned Parenthood.

These groups would argue, “But abortions?!”

I say – do your research. 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortions. 3%. THREE PERCENT. 

Here’s a graph to help make it clear:

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97% of healthcare services performed at Planned Parenthood are not abortions. They are, instead, services affecting the lives of the women AND MEN who seek their help.

Things like:

  • Breast cancer screenings
  • STD testing
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Prenatal services
  • Adoption referrals
  • And (drum roll please) BIRTH CONTROL TO PREVENT PREGNANCY

Here is what the New England Journal of Medicine (among the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world) had to say about Planned Parenthood and the government’s recent actions:

Argument

For the Christian Americans still mad about the 3% of abortions and ignoring all the efforts Planned Parenthood takes in preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place…

The federal dollars that help fund Planned Parenthood come from Title X and Medicaid. Essentially none of that federal funding goes towards the “choice to abort”, and instead only apply to very restricted cases:

“Title X does not allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Medicaid, however, does allow government money to be spent on them — in very restricted cases.

The 1977 Hyde Amendment dictated that federal Medicaid funds could only be used to fund abortions in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. However, some states have expanded cases in which they will provide funds. Currently, 17 states allow funds to be used for “medically necessary” abortions. In those cases that these states count as medically necessary but that are not permitted by the federal guidelines, states cover the cost alone.” – NPR’s Fact Check

Finally I have to ask these Christian Americans, “What would your Jesus do?”

The Jesus I was raised with loved everyone, believed in free will, and did not say GET IN EVERYONE’S BUSINESS AND MAKE SURE THEIR LIFE CHOICES ARE THE SAME AS YOURS!

No he said love and support one another. Love your fellow WOMAN and MAN. Even if those people happen to receive Planned Parenthood services because they are unable to afford or utilize private healthcare options. Pro-life? Be pro-women’s lives. Support a woman’s right to affordable healthcare and support her difficult healthcare choices. Support the men who stand alongside their women in making these choices.

Be a person who realizes this nation is a melting pot of different religious ideologies, and cultures, and circumstances. Be a person who recognizes not everyone has the financial or emotional support that you may have. Access to healthcare should not be voted on or decided on by archaic interpretations of a few select religious scriptures. It’s 2015, and we’re a nation of equality. Healthcare should be accessible and equal for all who need it.

And as an exasperated 24-year old married, working, feminist who who wants to be able to make any healthcare decision I need to at any point in my life (yes, even an abortion if medically necessary):

Please keep your religious beliefs out of my uterus.

#IStandWithPP

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Travel Tuesday: Bumbershoot Music Festival

Travel Tuesday: Bumbershoot Music Festival

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Labor Day Weekend was my 24th birthday weekend, and all I wanted for my birthday (as professed to the husband last spring) was to cross one giant item off my bucket list: attend a music festival.

You can check out all my MUST DO bucket list items on my List of Lists tab.

The festival started on Saturday, September 5th and lasted three full days through Labor Day Weekend. It takes place in Seattle Center, and despite our home’s proximity to the event, we decided to get a hotel so we didn’t have to battle traffic and parking every day. The Quality Inn and Suites just blocks from Seattle Center comes highly recommended after this weekend! They allowed my husband and I to check in nearly four hours early and gave us a parking pass right away. Excellent continental breakfasts each morning, a pool we unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to use, friendly staff, and best of all – after we’d checked out Monday morning we were allowed to leave our vehicle in the parking garage through the entire final day. It is your basic chain hotel, so don’t be surprised by simple amenities. It was perfect for a couple hardly spending any time in the hotel the entire weekend.

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Festival gates opened at 1:30 and the first day lines were insanity. It easily took 45 minutes to get in the gate. Once inside we hit the beer/wine tents to secure our wristbands for the day and then it was concerts all day for us. Bumbershoot is known for its comedy and lectures and although I’m sure it’s excellent, my intent was to come for the music.  First day lineup was Atmosphere, Cake, the Weeknd, and Lindsey Stirling. We caught a few others by coincidence, but all four of the acts we came to see were a lot of fun! Saturday also happened to be my birthday, so one too many Johnny Appleseed Ciders were also consumed (SEE ABOVE).

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After water, Tylenol, electrolytes, and a “no more alcohol for me” mantra we hit up Day 2. This was the day we knew the least amount of acts. We saw bits of The Melvins, Social Distortion, and Brand New. None I was seriously interested in until we got to the Key Arena that night and saw Flosstramadous and Zedd. Incredible shows! I would consider them either Trap or EDM, but I’m not a music expert and I won’t try to be. Basically if you like to dance and appreciate a good bass drop, two awesome acts!

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Finally was Day 3 of Bumbershoot. This day I had a list of artists and forced my poor husband to tag along to see every single one. Big Data, Robert Delong, Hozier (OMG!!!!), and Ellie Goulding. My favorite day by far because I was able to see Hozier live in concert and knew every word to almost every song. I was fan girling so hard, and I was standing next to this girl who was doing the same and the pair of us had so many OH MY GOD moments. I felt like such a sixteen year old. I am sure my husband had a blast attending that one….

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The Queen, Ellie closed the night. She was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Feel free to check out music from all the artists I saw (and many others  present last weekend) on my Bumbershoot Spotify playlist:

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    • If you want to get a good spot in Memorial Stadium or Key Arena at Bumbershoot, a nice long wait is required. I am not a bleachers kind of girl. If I got to a concert, I want to be in the thick of it dancing and shouting the lyrics right along with the artist. If you want to have an awesome spot – be patient.
    • Get your alcohol wristband early even if you don’t want to start drinking early because the later in the evening you wait, the longer the lines were
    • Bring a water with you always, but sip don’t chug. We were lined up for Hozier about 45 minutes before he started and stayed through Ellie (almost 3 full hours). Staying hydrated is important, but so is not losing your spot!
    • Don’t be the asshole that tries to push your way in through the crowd just before a concert starts or during the performance when all those people around you have been waiting. Everyone will hate you.
    •  IT WILL PROBABLY RAIN. This is Seattle, friends. Bring an umbrella/rain coat or be one of those high school girls in crop tops and short shorts soaking wet and freezing to death. Your call.
    • A backpack with empty water bottles, a rain coat for each of us, deodorant, band aids, lip balm, wallet, sun glasses, and mints was an excellent choice. I thought I’d regret bringing a backpack but we both shared carrying it, and it was so nice to have everything we needed on hand whenever.
  • Stay in Seattle!!! We both agreed the best choice we made was getting a hotel and getting to experience the full festival until as late as we wanted, plus getting to explore Seattle as early as we wanted. Traffic blows here. Don’t let it bring down your fun!

Overall, an awesome festival! But holy crapppppp, it was so nice to stay home and recover this weekend.

Camille Mae (2)

Marriage Wisdom (from whatever step comes after newlyweds)

Marriage Wisdom (from whatever step comes after newlyweds)

I realize it’s a bit premature for me to provide true “wisdom” about marriage. With only two years and three months of wedded bliss under my belt I don’t pretend to know the key to a successful marriage. But I know what’s worked for my marriage as a 20-something in our current society, and maybe that’s enough?

This blog post stems from three really good friends who have all recently become engaged. The most recent of which called me to share the news and teased me about, “Sharing my wisdom”. Her words got me thinking about what advice I would share with friends who are about to embark on this journey.

What would I truly want to tell my friends about marriage?

Well…

  1. You are going to continue to grow and change, but when you’re married you do it together. 

At 21 everyone warned me that I wouldn’t be the same person then that I would be at 25 and 30 and 40 so “BE SURE about marrying that person because YOU COULD CHANGE”. Well they were right, I’m not even the same person now at 24. But neither is he. We both changed. The notions I had about life at 21 are completely different now. But they’re different for him, too. If anything we’re more in sync now. Don’t worry about changing and growing. It’s so fun to do it with someone by your side. For the people passing up a great partner because of the fear you “may change”, you better never get married. I hear we keep changing/growing until we die.

2. Keep it light. Keep it silly. Keep laughing. 

Work is serious. School is serious. Bills are serious. Marriage is a serious decision, but it shouldn’t be serious. Laugh. Act like kids. Be spontaneous. Talk in accents when you go through the drive through. Have embarrassingly adorable lingo that you use when you’re alone. Dance while you make dinner. Hold hands and run down the street screaming when you drink. Don’t take marriage too seriously. The certificate didn’t mean we had to trade in being kids at heart.

3. You have two brains, not one.

It’s okay to have different hobbies, friends, political beliefs (make sure the big ones align…), ideas, favorite colors, etc. Marriage makes us a united front, but I didn’t marry myself? It’s easy to get flustered if I don’t agree about a political issue, or if only one of us likes a new set of couple friends, or if one of us prefers to do a specific hobby alone. All of that is 100% okay. Embrace the differences. We agree on the important issues that affect our lives and we have a handful of hobbies we do together. Everything else makes us individuals.

4. If you start to get into a routine, take an adventure

It doesn’t have to be a backpacking trip across Europe or moving to a new place (although that would do). Plan a Saturday trip to a hiking spot you’ve never been. Take a mini one night camping trip. Get a hotel in the city you live. Have a picnic in your backyard. Plan a date night roller skating and going to a drive in movie. Anything that disrupts the routine of daily life works. I’ll let a quote sum up this piece of advice up best,

“Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.”
Honoré de Balzac

5. Communicate

Ask about each other’s days. Eat dinner without phones. Keep the TV out of the bedroom. Turn the radio down every now and then. Have a sincere interest in each other’s lives even when feeling tired and self absorbed. Think of each other at free moments during the day. Getting or sending a simple “Miss you” text speaks volumes. Being able to say how I feel and what I need whether it’s regarding goals, work, arguments, plans, or our relationship is vital. Keep talking. Every day.

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“When I am with you, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. And I am a person who always wants to be somewhere else.”

— David Leviathan

Washington So Far

Washington So Far

WASHINGTON IS SO GOOD.

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So Pacific Northwest, I know

I will admit, finally starting a job has made it easier for me to be positive but I have been in love since we arrived. It is as if all my favorite things from Minneapolis and all my favorite things from Alaska have joined together and become one in Washington.

I am at peace, and here’s why:

  1. THEY RECYCLE HERE. We get our own recycling container that is emptied at the end of our driveway every two weeks. It’s a beautiful thing.
  2. The weather is amazing (okay I complained ONCE because we have no A/C and it was a solid 85 in our room a few nights in a row) but overall it’s 70’s and 80’s during the day and 50’s and 60’s at night. Sunny. Dry. Completely contrasting the “RAIN FOR MONTHS” warning everyone gave me. Joke’s on you guys. The weather here in the summer is Washington’s best kept secret.
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    Does this look like miserable rain to you? NOPE!
  3. There are mountains out my bedroom window, but urban sprawl just a short drive away.
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    Still not over this view of Rainier right out our window!
  4. Our town is adorable. Little restaurants we can walk to and antique shops and hipster coffee shops and a farmer’s market and weekly concerts in the park. It’s eye roll worthy and adore it. I have learned I don’t need a massive city out my door, but I do need things. Things within walking distance that we can do whenever we get the notion.
  5. We can go hiking or visit the Puget Sound within one hour from our front door, and hit the Pacific Ocean and bigger hikes just a little farther than that.

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  6. There’s a running trail along the Puyallup River just .5 miles from our house. I love running trails so I don’t have to constantly fight with traffic lights or cars not noticing me.
  7. Ferry boats. My Grey’s Anatomy fans, need I say more?
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  8. EVERYTHING CAN BE DELIVERED. At least in Seattle. Every type of food imaginable. Groceries. Clothes. Cupcakes. Alcohol. Friends, they’ll deliver a bottle of wine or scotch to your office. I have witnessed this.
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    IN CASE YOU DON’T WANT TO WALK TO THE CORNER DRUG STORE?
  9. Fresh, beautiful produce. Plus our landlords told us we can pretty much plant anything in the garden beds we have, and it’ll grow.

    (I was going to add a picture of our garden, but it’s really sad right now. It needs weeding but my long days and our busy weekends have made that impossible. Next weekend mom, I promise!)

  10. It’s home. My first big move to Alaska was such a gradual transition to feeling like my “home”. Fairbanks was smaller than where I was living before and I struggled to adjust to the weather and isolation. Washington (again, once I secured a house and a job) feels so natural to call home. I am so thankful I get to spend any amount of time here. My husband’s career is so impermanent it’s unlikely this is our “forever home”, but wow does it feel like a good fit.

11. But my two favorite things so far? Our very first rental home (all rental apartments before!) and the view out my cubicle window.

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“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”
C. JoyBell C.

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